Social media may have transformed the way we do business but it hasn't replaced other forms of marketing altogether. And it calls for the same rigour as the rest of your marketing strategy. Rachel Miller explains how to combine your online and offline marketing activities
Small firms using social media need to set objectives, plan their approach and make sure it dovetails with their overall marketing strategy.
Like any marketing initiative, getting results can take time and you may find that you are spending a lot of time online and neglecting other tasks as a result. Perhaps you are taking an ad hoc approach and failing to co-ordinate all of your marketing messages.
The golden rule when it comes to social media marketing is not to overtly sell. So, the way you communicate on Facebook or Twitter, for instance, will be very different from the way you would approach a sales letter.
However, it is vital that you don’t go completely off-message. All your marketing communication should highlight your USPs, strengthen your brand and be aimed at your target market. With social networking, for example, you can position yourself as an expert or talk about relevant issues that you are passionate about.
Social media marketing can work with your traditional marketing to enhance it.
As more customers find you via social media, it is vital to be responsive and convert this interest into sales. Like any marketing, you will need to take a strategic approach:
Finally, take advantage of the analytics and monitoring tools offered by social media sites and others. This will enable you to measure the return on your investment in time (and money), find out what works and what does not, and fine-tune your approach.